Impact of coronavirus on council services
Wednesday 18 March 2020
Milton Keynes Council is introducing new measures to protect our most vulnerable and to ensure it continues to provide essential services.
The council is already holding daily command meetings to look at urgent issues, communications, business continuity and any requests for help from its partners. Directors are also taking part in strategic planning across the Thames Valley and Bedfordshire.
This vital work with partners has already led to the council’s social care team helping to create more space at MK Hospital by helping people who could leave to go home or into care.
From today and in line with the latest official guidance to shield the most vulnerable, the council is changing or suspending a number of its services.
Key changes include:
- Libraries and most children’s centres are temporarily closed.
- Adult education and music courses are suspended.
- Homeless prevention services (usually drop in) are prioritising face to face meetings only for people in the most urgent need, otherwise people will be required to contact us on the phone.
- Many other services, from benefits advice to licensing and from trading standards to planning applications are asking customers to call or email instead of visiting.
- Most council public meetings have been cancelled, with the exception of meetings for critical, time sensitive decisions. The council is exploring options for live streaming these decisions.
Many essential services such as births, deaths and marriages, waste collection, home care and safeguarding are currently unaffected. Residents are advised to continue putting their waste and recycling out on their regular collection day.
The council is working closely with our partners at MK Community Foundation to introduce special arrangements to support our voluntary and community sector as they play their part in helping local people get though this.
The council is also holding an online briefing for local businesses at 2pm on Friday 20 March led by Council Leader Pete Marland. (Interested businesses should visit the council’s Facebook page @MKCouncil1 at 2pm).
Council Leader Pete Marland said, “In difficult times local people look to their council for help, and we’re ready to give that help in a slightly different way than usual to protect local people from coronavirus. While some of our doors are temporarily closed, we’re still here for you and still providing the most essential services.”
For a full list of affected services please visit www.milton-keynes.gov.uk.